‘not a valid url’

July 19, 2015

Still, after all these years, wishing I understood WordPress better. Sigh. It says my link to Facebook isn’t valid. That is as maybe. But it works!

If your experience is that it doesn’t (should you feel inspired to try it – even just out of devilment) do let me know. I will then go to the trouble of attempting to fix it.

However, from where I’m sitting it ain’t broke, so …

Review of Tesla’s Signal by L Woodswalker

August 14, 2016

**Originally written for “BigAl’s Books and Pals” book blog. May have received a free review copy.**

Tesla's Signal by [Woodswalker, L.]

Genre: science fiction

This is from the author’s ‘Note to Readers’ at the front of the book:

“The Serbian-American scientist Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) is the developer of the alternating current electrical system which the world has used for over 100 years. Thus, he can rightly be called ‘the father of the industrial age’. And yet until recently, his name was virtually invisible. When I first learned his story, it seemed so incredible that I said ‘this is a science fiction story that practically writes itself!’ … Some of the devices and theories depicted here are loosely based on Tesla’s documented work, while others are based on the more ‘legendary’ aspects of the Tesla story. Still others are sheer fancy. … The basic ideas of this novel – that Tesla had otherworldly visions, and claimed to have received signals from Mars – are documented in all of his biographical material.”

Description: I have filleted the description of the book on Amazon a bit, as it is full of spoilers.

Electric Wizard…Mad Scientist…Public Enemy Number One!

Nikola Tesla has a unique affinity for electric current…he can visualize the unseen…he speaks with beings of light. In 1899, he receives a message from “Mars”. …Then things start to go wrong – and he and his brilliant colleague Clara must go on the run. … At the same time, Nikola must learn to tap into the cosmic forces and face his own demons. …A classic-style SF novel that blends real history with fantastic gizmos, far-out space wonder, and hair-raising adventure.

Author:“L Woodswalker (Laura Todd) was raised in State College, Pennsylvania, where her father was an engineering professor at Penn State University. Her family enjoyed hiking on Tussey Mountain and the surrounding hills of Central Pennsylvania. She is a lifelong hiker and woodswalker.

At college her favorite subjects were Art and Biology. She later worked as a nurse and graphic designer. She became interested in electricity after learning to wire simple LED circuits.

Woodswalker has attended the Philadelphia Science Fiction Writers’ Workshop for many years. Her short fiction has been published in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Fantasy Magazine and The Magic Within anthology.

When she is not writing, Laura might be composing ambient electronic music, which she performs at the Electro-Music Festival in Huguenot, New York. Some of her other creative outlets include art and video, DIY crafts and steampunk gadgetry.

Laura’s grandmother Ida Epstein came to America from Kostopol, Ukraine, in the early 1900s. To Laura’s knowledge, no one from this side of the family was a theremin player or an electrical genius. As for Jake Flint, it is possible that he, or another ancestor, may have been a bootlegger.

The author admits that there might be a sequel to Tesla’s Signal in the works. To keep apprised of the author’s latest writing projects, visit woodswalker.weeby.com or facebook.com/teslasignal”

Appraisal: You get a lot of bang for your buck with this book. I picked it up because I knew so little about Nikola Tesla. I only heard about him properly when British telly had a brief flirtation with the excellent ‘Warehouse 13’ SF series. And it is certainly true that I know a lot more about him now. How much of what I’ve learned is true is another matter.

So the bangs you get for your buck are these: lots of information about Tesla’s life and inventions (although you have to decide for yourself what of this is fact and what is fiction); two sorts of aliens – the Alu (all of whose names begin with an ‘A’ – which made them pretty interchangeable for this reader) and the U’jaan; a well-drawn, kick-ass, super-bright, female colleague and love interest in Clara Eps; Theremin  concerts (if you’ve ever wondered whether, after Sheldon Cooper’s assault upon it, the device is capable of making actual music); all wrapped up in a well-written, old-fashioned, rip-roaring SF romp along the lines of HG Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle or Robert Louis Stevenson. And you get Woodswalkers enormous enthusiasm for her subject on every page.

That’s a lot to fit into one book. It is, therefore, unsurprising that the book has sprawled a bit. There are places where the story loses focus briefly, and some unnecessary repetitious material appears. Furthermore, I did wonder about the vast numbers of electrical things that Tesla and Eps made in very small amounts of time – the most sensational being a flying saucer invented and constructed in days.

On the other hand there are many lovely passages like this:

“… he had seen the whole system in his mind: magnets and coils of bright copper wire, the color of earth’s blood, drawing out the electrons into a miraculous dance. And then further refinements to control and guide the current, braiding them as Mother’s fingers twisted the yarn on her knitting needles.”

If you want to know more about Nikola Tesla, and/or enjoy SF novels from the turn of the twentieth century, then I think you will enjoy this book.

Format/typo issues: On the file I read there were some, minor, proofing errors and a recurring formatting infelicity.

Star rating = 4

Length: 408 pages


The Versatile Blogger Award

June 22, 2016


Thank you for nominating me, ajoobacats (https://ajoobacatsblog.com/author/ajoobacats/), on your Daily Musing and Reflections blog, for this intriguing award.


Show the award on your blog
Thank the person that has nominated you
Share 7 different facts about yourself
Nominate 15 blogs of your choice
Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination

7 facts about me:

I self-publish

I live beside the seaside

I am writing a ‘history and mystery’ novel about Genghis Khan’s missing body

Last Monday I wrote a sonnet (it wasn’t awfully good, but it was definitely a sonnet)

My Swiss Cheese plant is taller than I am

I still love cork tiles (yes, you can still get them)

I believe I am turning into an unreconstructable old anarchist.

I nominate:

Caroline’s  @ Advancing Poetry – http://advancingpoetry.blogspot.co.uk/ (poet’s blog)

Dan’s @ https://danholloway.wordpress.com/ (writer and thinker’s blog)

Sam’s @ https://childtasticbooks.wordpress.com/ (blog about children’s books)

Fay’s @ http://www.fayroberts.co.uk/ (performance poet’s blog)

Big Al and Pals @ http://booksandpals.blogspot.co.uk/ (reviews of self and small press published books)

and the related blog for indie writers: http://www.indiesunlimited.com/ (resource for indie writers)

Hannah @ http://hannahchutzpah.com/ (performance poet’s blog)

Marshal @ http://www.marshal.co.uk/comedy/ (stand-up comedian’s blog)

Ruth @ https://ruthdownie.com/books/ (historical novellist’s blog (Roman period))

Alison @ http://alison-morton.com/ (alternative history author’s blog (Roman period +))

Joanna @ http://mydelayedreactions.blogspot.co.uk/ (author’s blog)

Carol @ http://carolmckay.co.uk/ (author’s blog)

Bill @ https://billgreenwell.wordpress.com/ (poet’s blog)

Katrina @ http://www.katrinanaomi.co.uk/ (poet’s blog)

Crysse @ http://www.cryssemorrison.co.uk/ (author’s blog)

(Don’t feel obliged – as if you would! – to continue this chain. It has been a pleasure to give you all a shout-out).

After the colon …

May 29, 2016

I make a point of having a rummage through the Kindle bestseller lists about once a week. These days I have noticed there is a fashion for adding something … ‘eye-catching’ I suppose is what it’s meant to be … after the title, by bunging in a colon. Neither the colon nor what follows are, actually, part of the title.

Here are the top 10 ‘after the colon’ listings this week. They comprise 10 of the top 14 books listed:

the #1 bestseller’ (well, it is, so fair enough)

a psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming

the gripping debut thriller everyone is raving about

the gripping thriller that everyone is talking about’

a gripping serial killer thriller

a gripping serial killer thriller’ – (yes, honestly, repeated exactly, word for word. At this point I am going to out ‘Bookouture’, the publisher of these two books by different authors, and suggest that they should get some kind of award for paucity of imagination)

the perfect feel good summer read

the gripping psychological thriller that’s got everyone talking …

a laugh-out-loud read that will put a spring in …’ (the title is so long it has dribbled off the end of the space available for it)

a shocking and compelling new crime thriller – NOT for the …’ (Again – too long, so truncated. Not for whom? My guess is that the people for whom it is not are the oh-so-clichéd ‘faint-hearted’. But we shall never know, because the number of spaces available for this tagline has been miscalculated. The book it bigs up is #30 paid for in the Kindle Store. I find this the most fascinating of the 10. Can it be the unfinished tagline that has pushed people to read it?)

The authors and/or their publishers have spotted that there is space for titles longer than they’re using and have decided to exploit this. Unfortunately, in several cases, they have bundled together so many words that important information (like which number book in which series this book is) disappears off into the ether. Which I consider silly. One of the things which irks me about Amazon’s listings is how hard it sometimes is to find the books in a series in the order in which one wants to read them. Obviously this ain’t helping.

But the thing which has impelled me to blog about it is this – is the hyperbole after the colon helping anyone establish anything? If you want a thriller, there is a category for that on Kindle. And when one goes to that genre, there are these same books again (not the romances, obviously).

If you really, really can’t let those unused spaces alone, can you and/or your publisher not find anything more original to say about your book than ‘gripping serial killer thriller’? (The two romances have done better, so the bar isn’t set absolutely at ground level.) And do you attribute your good sales to this standard, ubiquitous, hyperbole after the colon, or to the quality of the book?

Authors – do you do this? Do you believe it works?

Readers – does this inform your decision on what to read?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts, folks.


Review of ‘The Scroll of Years’ by Chris Willrich

May 28, 2016


I pursued this book high and low and finally fettled a copy with the depressing word ‘discard’ on the back. Thereafter I have taken ages to read it, in the same way that one tries to make a particularly delicious ice cream last.

This is the first full length novel about Willrich’s delightful pair of characters Persimmon Gaunt and Imago Bone. I first met them in short story form and was bowled over by them and their adventures. Hence my quest, when I discovered they existed at longer length. They make guest appearances in various SF and fantasy magazines over more than a decade, so I am hoping that Willrich collects all their adventures together at some point.

What is so great about these characters? Well, obviously, it is what Willrich has made of them. They inhabit a world (at times, worlds) which Willrich has teased out of our Far East, but with subtle differences and shifts which mean that just when you think you have a handle on the what, where, why, when, how and who of it, the whole thing gives a shake like a wet dog and you end up in a different ambience altogether. There are dragons (I love dragons) and then again, perhaps they aren’t dragons. There is magic, and belief systems that one wishes really existed, and true love and honour, and extraordinary feats of physical daring and strength, and immortality and death, and a scroll into which one may enter and live. It is the scroll that provides the heart of the book. Gaunt dives into the scroll when in extreme peril. But a scroll is, itself, a fragile artefact – will it survive?

Willrich’s plotting is delightful. But it is his turn of phrase which never flags. He constantly draws in allusions and permits himself excursions around his own plot which, nevertheless, do not slow pace nor obfuscate the plot. This is clever work. The result is thought-provoking as well as a rollicking good fantasy story. Here is a short extract, taken at complete random, to show what I mean. Any page would give as good an example:

“’Is this place a sort of dream?” Gaunt asked. “Or am I truly in another universe?”

He laughed. “Every place is a sort of dream. But more to your point, this place is normal.”

Now Gaunt laughed. “Having arrived via art appreciation, I question that view.”’

‘About the author’ assures the reader that Willrich is now writing full time. I should jolly well hope so. I am awaiting your next novel with breath bated, Mr Willrich …


The Course

May 26, 2016

a play by Brendan O’Carroll, directed by Jan Dench: performed 18th -21st May 2016 at The Warehouse Theatre, Weymouth

Brendan O’Carroll is a polarising sort of chap. ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ is a guilty pleasure of mine. I sometimes channel-hop into it, and always stay until the end because I am immediately roaring with laughter, no matter how daft it is. Laughter is never to be scoffed at. Even a cheap laugh – which is what many would argue O’Carroll’s humour is. It depends quite a lot on mugging to the audience and plenty of ‘feck’ and ‘shite’. But it turns that frown upside down. Laughter is good for whatever ails ye.

O’Carroll writes the scripts for ‘Mrs Brown’s Boys’ (as well as starring in it and populating the cast with his family). So one might argue that the TV show is enough to keep him busy. But he has also written several spin-off Mrs Brown novels, an autobiography – and a play: ‘The Course’. This was first produced in Ireland, where it apparently broke box office records, directing and starring in it himself, and subsequently toured Britain and the USA.

This play was performed by Weymouth Drama Club last week. They made a lovely job of it. I canvassed one or two of the audience and was told that WDC are always a strong company. I look forward to future productions at their little Warehouse Theatre. The jammy blighters have their own premises! They are serious about what they do (one must always be serious about comedy, in particular, of all the dramatic genres) and have the means (both in talent and premises) to do it well.

The script was very O’Carroll – easy to speak and easy to listen to, it was well-plotted and very funny, relying on plenty of ‘feck’ and ‘shite’ of course as dramatic punctuation. A classful of six losers is turned, in the space of two hours, into six vibrant human beings with futures. Sure, the characters begin as stereotypes and end up as different stereotypes, those who have been built up for a fall get one, and the journey the characters have been on is in no way extraordinary – but it is well told and no less true for treading well-worn paths. The gags come thick and fast. I particularly enjoyed the description of the insurance the six were to be let loose on the world to sell – if you listened closely (and the highlights of the policy were repeated just enough times so you got it) the exclusion clauses of the policy ruled out the possibility of it ever being paid out. Rebuttals was another particularly funny thread running through the students’ revision sessions.

‘The Course’ teaches prospective insurance sellers about PMA: Positive Mental Attitude – something which O’Carroll himself espouses. The back of the programme was all ‘about the author’ and there he gives two instances of people for whom PMA was crucial – Christie Brown, the ‘my left foot’ artist, and Nelson Mandela. O’Carroll claims he himself is a classic example of its power.

This play has been around for 20 years, and I’ve never come across it before, which I find extraordinary in itself. If anyone reading this is casting about for a funny, smallish cast (6 men: 2 women) play for the amateur stage – if you can handle the accents (which are essential) – this will make for a very amusing evening.

Oh – I nearly forgot: the incidental music! The music was composed and played (not live, sadly) by Simon Swarbrick, nephew of Dave and local-ish resident. It was brilliant! Irish diddly-aye music plus electronic elements. Swarbrick recorded fiddle, guitar, keyboard, something smallish and mandolin-like and maybe other instruments blended into the mix too. The result was a whole band playing. He is a very talented multi-instrumentalist and full-time musician and composer. The links were a delightful shop window of his talents. The result was completely appropriate (one motif was a braying donkey) and made me wish that the time between scenes could be longer (which is a first). I shall have to keep an eye out for gigs he’s involved in.

Jonathan’s Shield by Channing Turner

May 17, 2016

**Originally written for “BigAl’s Books and Pals” book blog. May have received a free review copy.**

Genre: Historical fiction

“Beral’s only goal is to serve loyally as Jonathan’s shield bearer and protect his prince through whatever battles may come. But Jonathan needs a friend as well, a man he can trust while navigating the precarious footing of his father’s court. Being that friend puts Beral’s life in danger and stretches his loyalty to the breaking point. For what Jonathan wants is to do Yahweh’s will, whether that be through defying his increasingly paranoid father, King Saul, or supporting the aspirations of young David, whom Jonathan believes is the rightful heir to the throne.

As he competes with David for the hand of the king’s daughter, Beral struggles to hold true to his loyalties, even while he watches King Saul descend into madness. If Yahweh withdraws his protective hand, Beral and his men will be all that stand before their gathering enemies. Only one thing is certain: Beral’s fate, as well as the future of Israel, is tied to the virtue of their king, and Saul’s honor has long since fled.”


His publishers (Red Adept Publishing) say of him: “A son of the South, Channing Turner grew up in Arkansas and Louisiana before graduating from Louisiana State University in Psychology. He did graduate work in marine biology and became an estuarine biologist along the Texas coast. After retiring from the petrochemical industry where he worked in Louisiana and Montana as a laboratory analyst, he managed the 2010 US Census in Montana and northern Wyoming. He now lives in eastern Washington with his wife, Barb.

Channing served in the army and was discharged as an Armor captain. Reading and writing are his sedentary pursuits, but he also enjoys riding his Tennessee Walker in the Blue Mountains of Washington and Oregon.”

This, I believe, is his first published novel. To learn more about Mr. Turner feel free to visit his website or follow him on Facebook.
I enjoyed Jonathan’s Shield very much. Turner has gone to the Bible, and imagined what the arc of the extraordinary events described in the Book of Samuel might actually have been. The Bible is fruitful ground for writers. I’ve worked up a fictional ‘what if’ from the New Testament myself. It offers lots of opportunities for one to fill in all the frustrating gaps in the story which have occurred in its transmission through time and various languages down to us today. But it is, of course, a fiction. It is not a Christian book. It may, indeed, be a book some Christians will find strays too far into fictional territory. There is plenty of smiting, a lot of treachery, and hubris gets its comeuppance, but there is also a fair amount of sex.
The book deals with what happened when the Israelites, under King Saul, got fed up with being pushed around by the Philistines in particular and most of their neighbours in general and fought back. Historical figures about whom we know rather less than, perhaps, we think we do – Saul, Jonathan and David – get plenty of time on stage and Samuel the prophet has himself an important role to play; the events of the book are observed, experienced and related by Beral, the shield bearer of the title.
Turner uses a verse from Samuel as an epigraph before each chapter, and what follows expands on that, rolling the sparse source material together and forward to build an exciting story. The author has a good, plain style without frills or furbelows which suits his subject matter well and keeps the story moving at a goodly clip. He knows how to pace a story, what to put in, what to leave out. This is a lean, mean, fighting machine: lots of battles occur and are excitingly related. Even the drilling of soldiers to become an everyman army, with the tricks of how to catch the men’s imagination and commitment, and revelations about Beral the narrator in the mix, is riveting.
Turner fleshes out female characters as well as male ones (not something the Bible does much of) and the book is the richer for this, as women are often motivation for upheavals in empire as well as beside the domestic hearth. Seeing both genders in their familial and societal roles lends verisimilitude and depth to the work as a whole.
Despite the small quibbles below, this is a work that is well worth your time if you enjoy biblical era epics, adventures set in the Holy Land, or sword and sandal fiction in general. And if you haven’t tried any, this book is a fine place to start.
Buy now from:     Kindle US     Kindle UK     Paperback
In a few places, tiny infelicities of expression left me puzzled as to who someone was, or why the plot had just taken the turn it had. If you go with the flow it soon comes clear. Two such instances: who is Miriam? (she is a slave of Saul’s who Beral acquires as a maid later on when one has quite forgotten her earlier, momentary, walk-through part). And a second: why does David bring his brothers food? They are in the army, he is not – yet he is part of Saul’s entourage and it is odd if he doesn’t know that all food is shared via a commissariat system. It is, of course, an authorial device for getting him to the army camp, which just needs a teensy tweak to work perfectly.
Format/Typo Issues:
None. Looks very good on the page.
Rating: ***** Five stars
Reviewed by: Judi Moore
Approximate word count: 85-90,000 words

Review of The Lion of the Cross by T M Carter

May 17, 2016

I have begun reviewing for what I consider to be the premier Indie fiction review site – Big Al & Pals, based in the States. I feel honoured to be in such high-falutin’ company to be honest. I shall be rummaging around in their historical, thriller, SF and fantasy genre lists for gems to report on.

**Originally written for “BigAl’s Books and Pals” book blog. May have received a free review copy.**

Genre: Historical Fiction
“What if you had to flee your homeland, abandon your faith, and become the enemy you were sworn to annihilate, just to survive?
William de Scotia’s gentle blood flows with the ancestry of Scottish Kings and the malevolent taint of the murderous Lion of Islam, Sultan Baibars I. Born to an innocent mother, who was stripped of her nobility and dignity, then sold into bondage by a diabolical Genoese slaver, William is the lesser son of the Mameluk Sultanate and fated to be his eldest brother’s elite guard. When his barbarous father is suspiciously poisoned, his eldest brother ascends the throne and William prepares to embrace his destiny. But when one is young, the future is but a mirage in the desert—cruel and deceptive.
William is forced to flee his beloved Cairo when an ambitious emir, Qalawun, and his cunning son, Khalil, overthrow his brother. With the aid of a mysterious Templar Knight, he escapes to the Christian stronghold of Acre. A fugitive orphaned by fate, William must enter life’s crucible and become more than just a boy.
Through the eyes of a boy, The Lion of the Cross: Tales of a Templar Knight transports you through actual events of the 13th century, an age in peril, where a delicate peace between Christians and Muslims exists and hangs on a precipice, and holy war is sermonized from minarets and pulpits.”
“T.M. Carter is an author and an avid historian, a member of the Historical Novel Society and a member of the California Writers Club of Long Beach. He lives in Southern California with his wife and two children.”
If you have ever wanted to know what the Crusades were all about – or if you want to know more – then I think you will enjoy this book. Mr. Carter is steeped in the Crusades to the extent that there are footnotes (unusual in a work of fiction). The voice of Wasim/William is good – the boy is arrogant, petulant, and humble when he remembers to be, and easily motivated if his interest is aroused or he finds someone he can look up to. As the boy grows, the voice changes to that of a young man wondering what he may reasonably expect from a life lived in immensely violent times.
There is a slightly quaint turn of phrase used to give a flavour of the period, which I felt worked well. For example, when they genuflect Mr. Carter has his knights ‘take a knee’. The intrigues between the various Orders of Knights, and the battle scenes (which increase in number as the book comes to a climax) are well told.
I was struck by the similarities to our own world (Christians and Muslims at loggerheads) and how little has changed in some ways. I was also struck by the futility of the Crusades in general, fighting back and forth across a few square miles of desert, soaked in blood; something that Carter captures poignantly.
The author has never met a qualifier he doesn’t like. Sometimes these qualifiers enable him to show nuances of his setting or the mindset of his protagonists to greater advantage. Sometimes the highly-coloured description leads the reader to mistake something trivial for something important. And sometimes the qualifiers slow the pace. There is a crowd of players in this novel (they are listed at the back, helpfully!) and a goodly number of different places too – so it is unkind to confuse the reader, who is already working hard.
The first chapter has nothing to do with anything else in the book. I mention this, as it was some time before I gave up trying to tie the two stories together. This is the first volume of Tales of a Templar Knight; two others are planned: it is to one of them that Chapter 1 belongs.
Despite the caveats above and below this is an exciting read, which gathers pace as it unfolds.
Buy now from:     Kindle US     Kindle UK     Paperback
Some reasonably graphic sex. Increasingly gory violence towards the end.
Format/Typo Issues:
There are some typographical and grammatical infelicities, sadly – despite the copy editor being name-checked in the prelims. E.g., right at the beginning: “This is a work of fiction – although some of the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to real people of events is purely coincidental – this work is based on actual historical events and persons”.
In some sentences a scattergun approach to commas means the reader must work hard to decipher what the author is getting at, e.g. “I feared, for the man for it did appear to me that Al-Ghazi was bearing down on him at lightning speed …”
Approximate word count: 125-130,000 words
Rating: **** Four stars
Reviewed by: Judi Moore


A wee free …

May 13, 2016

Little Mouse: a novella

little_mouse_front_5x8 Final_forFB

will be free to download on Kindle from 12 – 16 May inclusive.


My booky-wooks

May 1, 2016

In case there’s anyone alive who hasn’t heard me bang on about my books. Or you’ve been living in a cave in the Outer Hebrides for the past few years, here is a reprise. They are all available from AmazonUK and US, Waterstone’s online, fishpond, The Book Depository and, in the States, Barnes & Noble. I give the Amazon UK links to them, for simplicity.

Product DetailsLittle Mouse was published in 2014. It is a sort of prequel to Is death really necessary? in that it covers the tribulations the Goldstein family experienced during Kristallnacht in 1938, their flight to Edinburgh away from the Nazis, and what happens when the past follows them there.


Product DetailsA century later, in 2038, the Goldstein dynasty has created Gold’s Prosthetics, developers and manufacturers of marvellous prosthetics from arms, legs and eyes to lungs and intestines. The ultimate solution for diseased and worn out organs is contained in Nanonics. It can heal the terminally sick at a molecular level. But there is a terrorist who has found a way to use it to turn vital petrol supplies into molasses. This is the story of what happens when white nanonics meets black nanonics. Published in 2009.


Product DetailsA collection of some of my better short stories, published at the end of 2015.

People are capable of the most extraordinary things: even the sort of people one might imagine live cloistered lives in one way or another. Sometimes the extraordinary things we all experience lead to success – even to triumph; sometimes to disappointment – even disaster.


If you read any of them and enjoy them, please tell your friends – and please consider leaving a review on Goodreads and/or Amazon. Word of mouth and peer review is immensely important in the indie publishing world.


March 20, 2016

It has happened again. It will happen more and more.

I bought a copy of a 2012 Kim Stanley Robinson tome, ‘2312’, after I found a favourable review of it in an old ‘Interzone’. I love KSR’s world-building. I haven’t gone on a journey with him into our solar system since being entranced by his ‘Red Mars’, ‘Blue mars’ and ‘Green Mars’, so I was keen to get started when the book arrived.

But, oh dear, the toll the years have taken on the fabric of my poor old body. 2312 is BIG and swiftly demonstrated that the arthritis in my hands has gotten WORSE, as I couldn’t hold the thing open without pain for long enough to get through the prelims. Which is all to say that as well as buying my secondhand, paperback, copy of ‘2312’ I have also had to buy it on Kindle. I am now getting on with it famously. So well that, if I ever decide to move again, I may try Mercury …

I’m finally shelving books from my recent move. Hooray!

Marge Piercy’s ‘Gone to Soldiers’ emerged from a box. Marge Piercy

Where ‘2312’ is big (over 592 pp), the Piercy is ENORMOUS (768pp). And the print is considerably smaller. NOW I remember why it’s still in the ‘to-read’ box. Even before my hands got cranky, my wrists complained when I tried to juggle it open (and there’s nothing wrong with my wrists). The thing with a really FAT tome is that it is only well-balanced enough to read in physical comfort when you’ve got to the middle of it. A conundrum which Kindle solves delightfully. OH NO! No Kindle edition of the Piercy. Come on, Simon and Schuster: move with the times!

On Getting Published, Good Books, and Living Goddesses

Rasana Atreya's blog on: Publishing Trends, e-books, Literary Agents

Indies Unlimited

Celebrating Independent Authors

Ajoobacats Blog

Prolific reader, reviewer and blogger of books and occasionally life

Kate Fox. Stand-Up Poet. Writer. Performer. Researcher. Teacher.

News, thoughts, blog and temporary holding place while my website is mended.

Hannah Chutzpah

Poet, performer, writer, activist, feminist, smartarse

dan holloway

It is better to try to be extraordinary and fail than to try to be ordinary and succeed.


Great books for great readers


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